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What kind of people were the early Texan settlers?
Are you looking for people with particular qualities, skills or interests?
If we are selected what will we have to do?
Will we have guns and live ammunition?
Will we be on our own throughout all this?
How long will it take and when?
But how can I take such time off work and school?
Do we get paid for doing this?
Will children be able to continue education?
How often will we be filmed?

What kind of people were the early Texan settlers?
After the Civil War, Texas went through a period of rapid change. Its population virtually tripled, and consisted of a mix of Native Americans, Tejanos (whose Spanish and Mexican ancestors had settled the territory), new Anglo-settlers from the East, Britain and Ireland and newly-freed African Americans. Despite these different cultures, what most of the early Texan settlers had in common was an entrepreneurial streak, a sense of adventure and the physical and mental agility to survive in the vast wilderness of the Texas range.

Are you looking for people with particular qualities, skills or interests?
There's no doubt that it will be a big challenge for anyone to take on this experience. Therefore we will need to know that the selected people are fit and healthy. The most important characteristics will be a willingness to learn new skills and a genuine thirst for knowledge about early ranching life, (we would not, however, recommend the experience for families with very young children.) You should have a real curiosity about living in the past, must be tenacious, resourceful, and have a good sense of humor to cope with all the eventualities. We're looking for people with diverse backgrounds. Though working with livestock will be a large part of this series, it is not a requirement that you have previous knowledge. However, some prior riding experience is a prerequisite for those individuals taking on the roles of cowboys. If you have any equestrian training, or special animal skills, we would love to hear about them. As many unfamiliar foodstuffs will be consumed, it's vital that you're not a fussy eater. You don't have to be a gourmet chef, but those who can cook well for large groups are particularly encouraged to apply. The ranch house will be a working business with the goal of turning a profit, so if you have any special business or management skills, please be sure to let us know. A love of outdoor life is desirable, as are basic skills in carpentry. It's important that everyone participating (including children if in a family) has fully considered the challenges and is eager to volunteer for the project for the full period. For this 21st-century experiment we're looking for a diverse group of Americans to explore what it's like to start a ranching business in unfamiliar territory and a new economy. We're looking for families and singles, who have what it takes to build a ranch, ride the range and ultimately deliver a herd of cattle to a market over 100 miles away.

If we are selected what will we have to do?
To allow us to record the full story of early Texas ranching, we want to see our participants living as authentic an experience as possible. Therefore they will have to take on the same circumstances as some of the first ranch owners, cowboys and ranch families in 1867 Texas. That means a complete departure from modern daily life. We'll give you a new wardrobe and training in using unfamiliar tools and old-fashioned technology - like roping a steer or cooking in a kitchen fireplace. Everyone will receive training in equestrian skills and caring for the livestock - your most precious commodity. From there you'll be taken to the ranch where your first challenge will be to master the ranch depending on the role you are designated. It's not a film set: These will be your real homes in which everything will operate exactly as it used to 150 years ago. Everyday you will have new experiences -- from breaking a wild stallion to making decisions for the good of the ranch.

Will we have guns and live ammunition?
No. Our participants will not be permitted to use guns. It is something of a myth that all cowboys carried guns, and in fact guns were banned from most early ranches because they terrified cattle and could cause stampedes. Our show is about living the life of real 1867 cowboys and ranchers, not movie gunslingers.

Will we be on our own throughout all this?
No. We will have experts on all aspects of ranch life available to give you practical help and encouragement at the start of the project. Safety training will be undertaken and monitored throughout. Eventually, the real experts will be those who will have been selected to live the experience. They will embark on this experiment as strangers from different walks of life. They'll have different values, different attitudes to work ethic and what lies ahead. But to succeed as a ranching business, they will have to work together to find a common ground, and share in the good times and the bad.

How long will it take and when?
We are planning for the experience in Texas to last four to five months. We anticipate starting in early summer and finishing filming in early fall, approximately June - October 2005. A few days of additional filming will take place at the homes of participants both before and after living on the ranch.

But how can I take such time off work and school?
Everyone has different circumstances, and we acknowledge that taking a five-month break from your everyday life is difficult. We helped make COLONIAL HOUSE possible for participants by talking to employers and schools to put together a mutually workable agreement. If you feel strongly that this experience is important to you we recommend that you apply with the understanding that we will address any concerns that you may have.

Do we get paid for doing this?
Not exactly. A stipend is available to the selected participants. However, it's important to recognize this is not a game show. The reward is the unique experience. Our fee is intended to compensate for the loss of earnings the average family or person is likely to incur.

Will children be able to continue education?
The experience itself will be a remarkable learning experience, but as most children in the early Texas ranch houses were home-schooled, it will be up to the parents to educate their children during the project. More information as to how this can be done will be provided by the production team.

How often will we be filmed?
Two small TV crews will be on hand to capture many of the experiences our families will encounter. Therefore, there will be a high level of filming across the months, approximately four, five or even six days a week. We will also install small video diary cameras within the ranch dwellings and we strongly encourage participants to talk to them as regularly as possible.

Apply Here!